By Arturo R. García
“They’re the varsity. They’re the A-list,” Senior Vice-President of Publishing Tom Breevort told Comic Book Resources in an interview. “They’re the Man. They’re not about being super heroes because of demographics or ethnicity. They stand for something specific and occupy a certain role. If you don’t have some degree of that, then it doesn’t feel like Avengers.”
Unfortunately, an ensuing discussion of the criteria needed for a story to bear the Avengers brand went to some depressingly familiar territory.
Part of the interview covered failed pitches for Avengers stories. Brevoort explained that he had rejected ideas for a “1950’s Avengers” or a “Cosmic Avengers.” Another idea he shot down in two separate pitches was, he said, essentially “Black Avengers.”
@SonofBaldwin Because 99% of all super heroes are white. It's the law of averages.
@SonofBaldwin It's the product of 70 years of publishing, much of which was done in less enlightened times.
As for his second claim, Marvel has the ability to change its product, as García notes. By forming an all-black Avengers, for instance. Or by creating minority superheroes until Marvel's comics accurately reflect the US population (now 36% nonwhite).
García isn't buying Brevoort's excuses either:
Even sticking with Brevoort's unnecessary criterion of people with an Avengers background, Marvel could put together a decent Native and- Latino-themed team. Starting with:
Add American Eagle, Black Crow, and a couple others and you've got yourself an Indigenous Avengers.
Instead we get another volume of the all-white Avengers. Alas.
For more on Indians' role in comics, see Review of Dark Horse's TUROK, Native Women = Whores in SCALPED, and Hidalgo in FIRST WAVE #4.